1115-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Nov 16, Tuesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David J. Kahn
THEME: Cubs Tribute
Today’s grid is replete with references to the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and to baseball in general:

1A. “My Kind of ___ (Chicago Is)” : TOWN
16A. Tinker to ___ to Chance (Cubs double play combo) : EVERS
17A. Curse of the Billy ___, Cubs “jinx” that ended in 2016 : GOAT
20A. Hall-of-Famer known as Mr. Cub : ERNIE BANKS
39A. 2016 award for each Cub : WORLD SERIES RING
54A. Wrigley Field events since only 1988 : NIGHT GAMES
60A. Finish pitching in a lopsided game : MOP UP
69A. Cubs slugger with 609 home runs : SOSA
4D. Cub, e.g. : NATIONAL LEAGUER
10D. Unique feature of Wrigley Field : IVY-COVERED WALLS
22D. Cubs’ divisional rivals: Abbr. : STL
30D. Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Harry who regularly led the Wrigley Field crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” : CARAY
48D. Ballpark frank : DOG
49D. Stadium walkways : RAMPS
51D. Decide to play for pay : GO PRO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “My Kind of ___ (Chicago Is)” : TOWN
“My Kind of Town” is a song composed for the 1964 musical film “Robin and the 7 Hoods”. “My Kind of Town” was performed principally by Frank Sinatra in the film, and Sinatra recorded it as a single that same year.

9. The former Mrs. McCartney : LINDA
Linda Eastman is best-known for her marriage to Paul McCartney. Having said that, I was more aware of Linda’s work as a photographer prior to her relationship with the ex-Beatle. She really knew how to take black & white images. In 1968, Eastman’s portrait of Eric Clapton was the first photo by a woman to be used on the front cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine.

16. Tinker to ___ to Chance (Cubs double play combo) : EVERS
“Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” is a poem written by Franklin Pierce Adams in 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

17. Curse of the Billy ___, Cubs “jinx” that ended in 2016 : GOAT
The Chicago Cubs baseball team was supposedly subject to the “curse of the Billy Goat” from 1945 until 2016. Billy Sianis, the owner of a Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, took his pet goat with him to a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field. Fans sitting nearby didn’t like the smell of the goat, and so the owner was asked to leave. As he left, Sianis yelled out, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” And that is how a curse is born …

18. Western tribe : UTES
The Ute is a group of Native American tribes that now resides in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

20. Hall-of-Famer known as Mr. Cub : ERNIE BANKS
First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored. Banks was known for his catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two!”, a reference to his love of the game, always wanting to play a doubleheader.

23. Racer Yarborough : CALE
Cale Yarborough is a former NASCAR driver and owner. Yarborough was the first NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”.

25. Blog annoyances : TROLLS
In Internet terms, a “troll” is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. Sad, sad people …

32. Opposite of baja : ALTA
In Spanish, “baja” is “low” and “alta” is “high”.

33. Its inaugural flight was from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.

42. Shag or bob : STYLE
A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Actress Meg Ryan famously sported a shag cut for many years.

43. English lockup : GAOL
Both “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same way, mean the same thing and are rooted in the same Latin word for “cave”. The spelling “gaol” is seen quite often in the UK, although it is gradually being replaced with “jail”. The “gaol” spelling has Norman roots and tends to be used in Britain in more formal documentation.

45. Judy Jetson’s kid brother : ELROY
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family are Rosie the household robot, and Astro the pet dog.

52. Trash-toting transport : SCOW
A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

63. Newswoman Logan : LARA
Lara Logan is a South African newswoman, and is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story.

64. Capital in a Cole Porter song : PAREE
“Who Said Gay Paree?” is a song from the Cole Porter musical “Can-Can”.

65. Certain tax-free investment, for short : MUNI
A municipal bond (muni) is one that is issued by a city or local government, or some similar agency. Munis have an advantage over other investments in that any interest earned on the bond is usually exempt from state and federal income taxes.

66. Home to French silk makers : LYON
The city of Lyon in France, is also known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris.

69. Cubs slugger with 609 home runs : SOSA
Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

Down
1. Buster Brown’s canine sidekick : TIGE
“Buster Brown” is a comic strip created in 1902 by Felton Outcault. Outcault took his name Buster from the very popular film star at the time, Buster Keaton. Buster’s dog Tige, was an American Pit Bull Terrier. Apparently when Tige started to “talk” in the strip, he became the first talking pet in the history of American comics.

4. Cub, e.g. : NATIONAL LEAGUER
The Chicago Cubs is one of only two charter members of the baseball’s National League who are still playing, the other being the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 for the first time since 1908, which is a long time ago. In fact, the Cubs had the longest championship drought of any professional sports team in North America.

6. Some wrap holders : PITAS
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

7. First place : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

10. Unique feature of Wrigley Field : IVY-COVERED WALLS
The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.

11. Country whose capital is more than 4,500 feet above sea level : NEPAL
Although Kathmandu is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

13. Burros : ASSES
Our word “burro” meaning donkey comes from the Spanish word for the same animal, namely “burrico”.

21. Stat for Jon Lester : ERA
Earned run average (ERA)

Jon Lester is pitcher who pitched a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals in 2008, when playing for the Boston Red Sox. Lester was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, and made a remarkable recovery from the resulting chemotherapy. He started and won the final game of the World Series the season following his treatments.

22. Cubs’ divisional rivals: Abbr. : STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

26. Hoopsters’ hoops : RIMS
Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

30. Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Harry who regularly led the Wrigley Field crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” : CARAY
The announcer Harry Caray was famous for exclaiming “Holy cow!” during baseball games, and used the same phrase for the title of his autobiography.

31. Oscar : films :: ___ : ads : CLIO
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

34. Toy block brand : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

37. “Picnic” playwright : INGE
Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time was the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

40. PC brand : DELL
Dell, the computer manufacturer, is named after the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

46. Kylo ___, Adam Driver’s role in “Star Wars” : REN
Adam Driver is an actor best known for playing Adam Sackler on the TV show “Girls” that airs on HBO. Driver’s career got a huge boost in 2015 when he played villain Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

48. Ballpark frank : DOG
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

50. Internet finance firm : E-LOAN
E-Loan used to be based just down the road from me in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after takeover by a Rosemont, Illinois company it was moved to the parent’s headquarters. E-Loan was founded in 1997 to provide customers access to mortgages over the Internet.

55. Some early PCs : IBMS
The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

57. Chicken salad ingredient : MAYO
Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

58. Boy with a bow and arrow : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor. The Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.

59. Mideast capital supposedly founded by a son of Noah : SANA
Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “My Kind of ___ (Chicago Is)” : TOWN
5. Went 90, say : SPED
9. The former Mrs. McCartney : LINDA
14. What you may think of : IDEA
15. Concern for beachcombers : TIDE
16. Tinker to ___ to Chance (Cubs double play combo) : EVERS
17. Curse of the Billy ___, Cubs “jinx” that ended in 2016 : GOAT
18. Western tribe : UTES
19. Things proofreaders look for : TYPOS
20. Hall-of-Famer known as Mr. Cub : ERNIE BANKS
23. Racer Yarborough : CALE
24. Balls : ORBS
25. Blog annoyances : TROLLS
27. Backbone-related : SPINAL
30. The year 254 : CCLIV
32. Opposite of baja : ALTA
33. Its inaugural flight was from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL
35. Kind of blitz : MEDIA
39. 2016 award for each Cub : WORLD SERIES RING
42. Shag or bob : STYLE
43. English lockup : GAOL
44. Barely beat : EDGE
45. Judy Jetson’s kid brother : ELROY
47. Moves like a whirlpool : EDDIES
49. Entertain grandly : REGALE
52. Trash-toting transport : SCOW
53. Sleep like ___ : A LOG
54. Wrigley Field events since only 1988 : NIGHT GAMES
60. Finish pitching in a lopsided game : MOP UP
62. Uncouth one : BOOR
63. Newswoman Logan : LARA
64. Capital in a Cole Porter song : PAREE
65. Certain tax-free investment, for short : MUNI
66. Home to French silk makers : LYON
67. Bar drink taken in one gulp : SNORT
68. What many writers write on : SPEC
69. Cubs slugger with 609 home runs : SOSA

Down
1. Buster Brown’s canine sidekick : TIGE
2. Something whiffed : ODOR
3. Withdraw gradually : WEAN
4. Cub, e.g. : NATIONAL LEAGUER
5. Targets of close shaves? : STUBBLES
6. Some wrap holders : PITAS
7. First place : EDEN
8. What many writers write on : DESK
9. Allow to : LET
10. Unique feature of Wrigley Field : IVY-COVERED WALLS
11. Country whose capital is more than 4,500 feet above sea level : NEPAL
12. Like some humor : DROLL
13. Burros : ASSES
21. Stat for Jon Lester : ERA
22. Cubs’ divisional rivals: Abbr. : STL
26. Hoopsters’ hoops : RIMS
27. Familiar sayings : SAWS
28. Secret plan : PLOT
29. Modest reply to a compliment : I TRY
30. Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Harry who regularly led the Wrigley Field crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” : CARAY
31. Oscar : films :: ___ : ads : CLIO
34. Toy block brand : LEGO
36. “What ___ tell you?” : DID I
37. “Picnic” playwright : INGE
38. Matures : AGES
40. PC brand : DELL
41. Thrilling : ELECTRIC
46. Kylo ___, Adam Driver’s role in “Star Wars” : REN
48. Ballpark frank : DOG
49. Stadium walkways : RAMPS
50. Internet finance firm : E-LOAN
51. Decide to play for pay : GO PRO
52. Glimmered : SHONE
55. Some early PCs : IBMS
56. Ascend : GO UP
57. Chicken salad ingredient : MAYO
58. Boy with a bow and arrow : EROS
59. Mideast capital supposedly founded by a son of Noah : SANA
61. Favorite : PET

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5 thoughts on “1115-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Nov 16, Tuesday”

  1. 8:02, I can't believe I beat Dave and came within 15 seconds of Bill. I don't think I can ever hope to match that again.

    I had a huge advantage here. I'm a big lifelong baseball fan, and the Cubs are my Cardinals' biggest rival. All of the Cub answers I knew immediately.

    I guess I'm torn between the thrill of being within striking distance of some advanced solvers and having to complete a grid like that which glorifies the Cubs' winning this year. Yuck.

    Best –

  2. 9:13, 2 errors. CAREY and GEOL, I misspelled Harry Caray's name, then didn't check the across clue, figured it would be geology.

  3. No errors. Did not know much about the Cubs. Nice way to find out a few things. I started to call them the "Cubbies". Is that considered to be a derogatory term?

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